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Government ends funding for agencies supporting clean coal and sustainable logging

Posted by Alex Barrett on 14 April 2016 at 3:30 pm

New government spending cuts will impact two organisations working to promote sustainable logging, and the reduction on CO2 emissions from coal fired power stations. The current government has a bad track record on sustainability. They have removed support for onshore wind farms, reduced subsidies for a variety of renewable energy technologies and abandoned plans to make all new homes zero carbon by 2020 [1]. Now the IEA Clean Coal Centre and the Central Point for Expertise on Timber (CPET) both face the removal of government funding.

The government has withdrawn UK funding from the International Energy Agency’s Clean Coal Centre. This international London-based organisation works to promote “the clean and efficient use of coal worldwide” [2], including coordinating research and development of more environmentally friendly fossil fuel technologies.

Even if uptake of renewable energy sources continues unabated, our society will remain dependant on fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with this infrastructure is a vital step towards meeting the UK’s Climate Change targets. The Clean Coal Centre continues to operate, funded by other member countries, but the Financial Times reports that UK funding accounted for 15% of the organisation’s budget [3].

These spending cuts also affect the CPET, which has now ceased operations. This was a government agency intended to “offer support to public sector bodies and their suppliers who need to comply with government rules on the sustainable sourcing of timber” [4]. In the twelve years that it was active it became an important source of information on sustainable forestry, ensuring that government departments did not buy the products of illegal logging of tropical rainforests. It helped to promote the buying of sustainably produced wood both in the UK and internationally. Now the organisation has ceased operations as of March 31 2016.


  1. The Guardian
  2. IEA Clean Coal Centre
  3. The Financial Times
  4. Central Point of Expertise on Timber

Image Credit: Jakl-dee via flickr


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